With states responding poorly to implementation of the law to protect women from domestic violence, the Centre may have to consider an advanced model to provide speedy responses to victims by using NGOs as a nodal first-aid point.
This would cover not only emergency medical aid but also legal and police assistance.
Less than 50 per cent states have taken any steps to implement the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be seeking opinions from all participants at the Conference of State Ministers and Secretaries, that begins on Wednesday, on whether an advanced model (in place in USA, several European countries and Australia) could be implemented.
Only 15 of 35 states and UTs have notified shelter homes, but none of them have provided details of these homes to the Centre. The state governments take appointment of Protection Officers even less seriously with only two states — Delhi and West Bengal — appointing independent POs. All the other states have given the job as additional charge to officers who are already overburdened with their existing duties.
“The primary problem is ensuring co-ordination between various agencies like police officers, health professionals, court officials and protection officers to be sure that a victim of domestic violence gets easy access to quality services (medical, legal, and counselling) and speedy relief,” a senior government official told HT.
The specific model that the Centre will be putting up for discussion is the Safe DC Programme, in place in Washington DC to see if an Indian version can be designed.